Small midland lakes

Hello all. I have a general Q about WA state lakes. Here in SW WA we have Silverstar peak and all the foothills surrounding it just to my East. Canyon Creek, a small Rock Creek, East Fork Lewis all run out of these hills. Thurz lakes in them thar hills! The lakes aren't lowland lakes, but aren't high by any means either... around 3400 ft usually.

I have found a few that feed some of these rivers I speak of (nothing thats a trib to the East Fork though, I know how protected that is above Sunset). Question is, with these types of lakes is there any chance of getting fish? They don't show up on any fishing reports, WDFW docs, etc so I assume with a great deal of certainty they aren't stocked. Do the fish stocked in the rivers that drain them though run up, could there be a resident population?

I know its a per-lake thing that you need to just go test and I don't mind fish-less days exploring but just wondering what everyone else has seen in these small lakes tossed about the hillsides. Am I just wasting time wishing for my own private piece of lake-fishing heaven without crowds?

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Probably full of stunted Eastern Brooks Trout. They stick a lot of Brookies in them and then they over populate the lake. Hence stunted fish. I know of a few in the Cascades around or above Everett have them in them.

Go on and do a search for "zig zag lake"- you'll get an impression of the type of fishing you will find at these small lakes and ponds in the mid/upper Lewis watershed.

My honest opinion is to stick with the more well-known lakes in the area- Merrill, McBride, Goose etc. There are not a lot of secrets out there worth the sweat it takes to bushwhack to.

As for what you'll find at these ponds? All brookies. One unnamed lake in the Canyon Creek drainage I fished as a teenager held browns but rumor has it that it is infested with bluegill and salamanders now.

If you're looking for something a little more official, pick up Wes Hills "Fly Fishing SW Washington" at the Greased Line.
The bigger thing for me is getting out and enjoying being away. I think a single small fish day on a lake with no one else in sight or earshot that I had to bushwhack to after driving 20 miles on unpaved road leaving my Jeep on the side of a hill would be a better day than a highway drive to a lake with a boat ramp and people... but that's all personal preference.
Tons of stunted Brookies, that most likely rarely see a hook and are willing to eat almost any fly you throw.A lack of people fishing around you. Seems like a good reason to take the 2-4 wt rod and go to me.